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Backtracks, the data analytics and advertising platform, has taken the wraps off a new suite of publisher tools it says are designed to bring transparency and better measurement to podcasting. It says it will use its technology to create Backtracks Charts, a searchable index and real-time data of more than 15 million episodes of 500,000 podcasts. And for publishers that use its product, Backtracks says its developer SDKs will give them the ability to measure audience engagement regardless of where their content is hosted and how it is delivered.

“For the past four years, we’ve had our heads down, building a provider-agnostic, tech-centric platform solution that promotes standardized, verified and transparent analytics for all podcast participants,” said Jonathan Gill, co-founder and CEO of Backtracks.

The company’s new suite of tools has been in an invite-only beta for over a year and is being tested by a group of select partners, including McKinsey & Company, Y Combinator, Samsung Next, The Globe and Mail, and Mediahuis, all of which rely on Backtracks to power their audio content.

Among the features that Backtracks says it can offer is allowing the podcasters to have the ability to know whether someone who auto-downloaded an episode has actually listened to the show and whether that listener finished an episode, listened to specific ads or skipped over content. That includes giving publishers data of who is listening to their content, which segments they actually listened to, what parts they skipped and on what device including demographics sought after by potential advertisers and partners.

“Podcasting has exploded over the past several years, but the lack of confidence around listener data is hindering growth,” said Gill. “With no standardized metrics across the industry, publishers are left with inaccurate and inconsistent engagement data and low transparency. As a result, advertisers can’t accurately quantify their ad dollars, podcasters are unable to monetize their content effectively, and consumers are stuck listening to the same mattress ad over and over.”

Austin-based Backtracks was founded by engineers Jonathan Gill and Kevin Wright in 2016. It says its mission is to modernize the podcast medium by providing podcasters and advertisers with the tools to measure, discover and monetize their content and data.

See Backtracks’ Top 500 podcast ranker HERE.